Illinois Fighting Illini football

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Illinois Fighting Illini football
2016 Illinois Fighting Illini football team
Illinois Block I.png
First season 1890
Athletic director Josh Whitman
Head coach Lovie Smith
1st year, 1–1 (.500)
Stadium Memorial Stadium
Seating capacity 60,670
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Champaign, Illinois
Conference Big Ten
Division West
All-time record 592–559–51 (.514)
Bowl record 8–10 (.444)
Claimed nat'l titles 5 (1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1951)
Conference titles 15
Consensus All-Americans 24
Colors Orange and Blue[1]
         
Fight song Illinois Loyalty and Oskee Wow Wow
Marching band Marching Illini
Major Rivals Northwestern Wildcats
Missouri Tigers
Purdue Boilermakers
Indiana Hoosiers
Ohio State Buckeyes
Outfitter Nike

The Illinois Fighting Illini are a college football program, representing the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. They compete in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and the Big Ten Conference.

History[edit]

The program began play in the 1890 college football season and is a founding and continuous member of the Big Ten Conference since the 1896 college football season.

Current staff[edit]

Name Position Consecutive season at
Illinois in current position
Lovie Smith Head Coach 1st
Garrick McGee Offensive Coordinator 1st
Hardy Nickerson Defensive Coordinator 1st
Andrew Hayes-Stoker Wide Receivers Coach 1st
Bob Ligashesky Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends 1st
Luke Butkus Offensive line coach 1st
Thad Ward Running backs coach 1st
Mike Phair Defensive line coach 2nd
Tim McGarigle Linebackers Coach 1st
Paul Williams Defensive backs coach 1st
Reference:[2]

Head coaches[edit]

All-time win/loss/tie record[edit]

  • 592–559-51[3]

Head-to-head Big Ten records[edit]

Team Total Meetings Overall Record
Indiana 70 45–23–2
Iowa 71 38–31–2
Maryland 0 0–0
Michigan 94 23–69–2
Michigan State 45 17–26–2
Minnesota 68 29–36–3
Nebraska 12 3–8–1
Northwestern 109 55–49–5
Ohio State 101 30–68–3
Penn State 23 5–18
Purdue 91 44–41–6
Rutgers 2 1–1
Wisconsin 82 36–39–7

National championships[edit]

The University of Illinois has five national championships in football: 1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, and 1951. The Fighting Illini now officially recognize the 1951 National Championship by the Boand selecting body,[4] but as recently as 2006 this was not mentioned officially by the school.[5]

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl Game
1914 Bob Zuppke Parke H. Davis 7-0-0
1919 Bob Zuppke Billingsley, Boand, Football Research, Parke H. Davis 6-1-0
1923 Bob Zuppke Boand, Football Research, Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke H. Davis 8-0-0
1927 Bob Zuppke Billingsley, Dickinson, Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke H. Davis 7-0-1
1951 Ray Eliot Boand 9-0-1 Won Rose Bowl
National Championships 5

Big Ten championships[edit]

Year Coach Big Ten Record Overall Record Bowl Game
1910 Arthur Hall 4-0-0 7-0-0
1914 Bob Zuppke 6-0-0 7-0-0
1915 Bob Zuppke 3-0-2 5-0-2
1918 Bob Zuppke 4-0-0 5-2-0
1919 Bob Zuppke 6-1-0 6-1-0
1923 Bob Zuppke 5-0-0 8-0-0
1927 Bob Zuppke 5-0-0 7-0-1
1928 Bob Zuppke 4-1-0 7-1-0
1946 Ray Eliot 6-1-0 8-2-0 Won Rose Bowl
1951 Ray Eliot 5-0-1 9-0-1 Won Rose Bowl
1953 Ray Eliot 5-1-0 7-1-1
1963 Pete Elliott 5-1-1 8-1-1 Won Rose Bowl
1983 Mike White 9-0-0 10-2-0 Lost Rose Bowl
1990 John Mackovic 6-2-0 8-4-0 Lost Hall of Fame Bowl
2001 Ron Turner 7-1 10-2 Lost Sugar Bowl
15-time Big Ten Champions

Bowl games[edit]

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1947 Rose Bowl W UCLA 45 14
January 1, 1952 Rose Bowl W Stanford 40 7
January 1, 1964 Rose Bowl W Washington 17 7
December 29, 1982 Liberty Bowl L Alabama 15 21
January 2, 1984 Rose Bowl L UCLA 9 45
December 31, 1985 Peach Bowl L Army 29 31
December 29, 1988 All-American Bowl L Florida 10 14
January 1, 1990 Florida Citrus Bowl W Virginia 31 21
January 1, 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl L Clemson 0 30
December 31, 1991 John Hancock Bowl L UCLA 3 6
December 30, 1992 Holiday Bowl L Hawai'i 17 27
December 31, 1994 Liberty Bowl W East Carolina 30 0
December 30, 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl W Virginia 63 21
January 1, 2002 Sugar Bowl L LSU 34 47
January 1, 2008 Rose Bowl L USC 17 49
December 29, 2010 Texas Bowl W Baylor 38 14
December 31, 2011 Fight Hunger Bowl W UCLA 20 14
December 26, 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl L Louisiana Tech 18 35
Total 18 Bowl Games 8-10 436 403

Rivalries[edit]

All-time statistical leaders[edit]

Recruiting[edit]

Illinois Fighting Illini Football Scout.com team recruiting rankings:

Class

Scout.com

Rank

Commits

Top Commit

2015

34 25 Gabe Megginson

2014

71 18 Jihad Ward

2013

42 25 Aaron Bailey

2012

68 18 T.J. Neal

2011

40 27 Jon Davis

2010

57 22 Chandler Whitmer

2009

35 22 Andrew Carter

2008

19 28 Corey Liuget

2007

20 21 Arrelious Benn

2006

28 27 Isiah Williams

2005

45 19 Rashard Mendenhall

2004

44 24 Xavier Fulton

2003

31 28 Kelvin Hayden

2002

47 22 James McGill

Individual honors[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Illinois Fighting Illini retired numbers
No. Player Position Career
50 Dick Butkus LB 1962-64
77 Red Grange [6] HB 1923-25

Consensus All-Americans[edit]

A Bristow Adams poster of an Illini football player
1904 NCAA football guide featuring Illini Football. The guide was the official rules book and record book of college football

College Football Hall of Famers[edit]

Pro Football Hall of Famers[edit]

[8]

Current NFL players[edit]

The following are former players who are currently in the NFL.[when?]

Fighting Illini Currently in the NFL[9]
Name Position Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Draft Year Pick (Round) Pro-Bowls Super Bowls Current NFL Team
Jeff Allen Guard 6'4" 315 Chicago, IL 2012 44 (2nd Round) 0 0 Houston Texans
Jon Asamoah Offensive guard 6'4" 305 Matteson, IL 2010 68 (3rd Round) 0 0 Free Agent
Alan Ball Cornerback 6'2" 191 Detroit, MI 2007 237 (7th Round) 0 0 Arizona Cardinals
Arrelious Benn Wide receiver 6'2" 220 Washington, D. C. 2010 39 (2nd Round) 0 0 Jacksonville Jaguars
Michael Buchanan Outside linebacker 6'5" 250 Homewood, IL 2013 226 (7th Round) 0 1 (XLIX) Free Agent
Jeff Cumberland Tight end 6'4" 260 Columbus, OH 2010 Undrafted 0 0 San Diego Chargers
Vontae Davis Cornerback 5'11" 215 Washington, D.C. 2009 25 (1st Round) 2 (2014, 2015) 0 Indianapolis Colts
Michael Hoomanawanui Tightend 6'4" 265 Bloomington, IL 2010 132 (5th Round) 0 1 (XLIX) New Orleans Saints
A. J. Jenkins Wide receiver 6'0" 192 Jacksonville, FL 2012 30 (1st Round) 0 0 Free Agent
Corey Liuget Defensive end 6'2" 300 Miami, FL 2011 18 (1st Round) 0 0 San Diego Chargers
Whitney Mercilus Outside linebacker 6'4" 252 Akron, OH 2012 26 (1st Round) 0 0 Houston Texans
Jay Prosch Fullback 6'1" 254 Mobile, AL 2014 211 (6th Round) 0 0 Houston Texans
Akeem Spence Defensive tackle 6'1" 307 Fort Walton Beach, FL 2013 100 (4th Round) 0 0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Staples Linebacker 6'4" 245 Chicago, IL 2013 Undrafted 0 0 Tennessee Titans
Pierre Thomas Running back 5'11" 215 Chicago, IL 2007 Undrafted 0 1 (XLIV) Free Agent
Hugh Thornton Offensive Guard 5'11" 215 Oberlin, OH 2013 86 (3rd Round) 0 0 Indianapolis Colts
Steve Weatherford Punter 6'3" 215 Crown Point, IN 2006 Undrafted 0 1 (XLVI) Free Agent
Tavon Wilson Safety 6'0" 210 Washington, D.C. 2012 48 (2nd Round) 0 1 (XLIX) Detroit Lions
Fighting Illini in the NFL/AFL
NFL Draft Selections
Top 5 Draft Picks 8
1st round: 23
Total Currently Playing: 18
Total NFL Players: 237[10]
Notable Achievements
Illini in the Super Bowl: 39
Pro Football Hall of Famers: 6
College Football Hall of Famers: 15

Other notable players[edit]

Media[edit]

Illini football games are shown via the Illini Sports Network, which brings the Illini to stations across Illinois. Locally, the team's games are shown on WDWS-AM 1400 and WHMS-FM 97.5. WDWS has been the Illini's exclusive radio station in Champaign since 1935. WHMS has aired Illini games since the 1950s. The team's student newspaper is the Daily Illini, while outside coverage is handled by The News-Gazette.

Future opponents[edit]

Big Ten West-division opponents[edit]

Illinois plays the other six Big Ten West opponents once per season.

Even Numbered Years Odd Number Years
vs Iowa at Iowa
vs Minnesota at Minnesota
at Nebraska vs Nebraska
at Northwestern vs Northwestern
at Wisconsin vs Wisconsin
vs Purdue at Purdue

Big Ten East-division opponents[edit]

Year Indiana Maryland Michigan Michigan State Ohio State Penn State Rutgers
2016 AWAY HOME AWAY
2017 HOME AWAY HOME
2018 AWAY HOME AWAY
2019 HOME AWAY HOME

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of February 8, 2016

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
vs Murray State vs Ball State vs Kent State at Connecticut vs Connecticut at Virginia vs Virginia at Kansas vs Kansas at Duke vs Duke
vs Western Michigan vs Western Kentucky vs Western Illinois vs Eastern Michigan vs Florida Atlantic vs Central Michigan
vs North Carolina at South Florida vs South Florida vs Bowling Green

[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Illinois Athletics Unveils Updated Brand Identity". Fightingillini.com. 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  2. ^ "Illinois Athletics - Football Coaches". Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Annual Team Records
  4. ^ "The Record Book" (PDF). Grfx.cstv.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Records" (PDF). Graphics.fansonly.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  6. ^ Harold E. "Red" Grange biography
  7. ^ College Football Hall of Famers
  8. ^ "Heroes of the Game - Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "NFL Players by College - I - National Football League - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  10. ^ "The Illinois Fighting Illini Football Team | Scores, Stats, Tickets, and More". College-football.findthedata.org. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  11. ^ "Illinois Fighting Illini Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 

External links[edit]